“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He will.” Yahweh is the One and only true God. There are powerful people everywhere. If we were able to satisfy the most demanding leaders in the world, and if we had the highest self-esteem and personal happiness of anyone on the planet, but did not have peace with God, our situation would be perilous.
“The Lord weighs the heart.” His judgment of any person or situation is far more important than that of anyone else. Secret lies and perfectly executed violence do not escape His notice. He understands what makes a “quarrelsome woman” contend against her husband, even when she and her spouse cannot figure out why their marriage is unhappy. The Almighty knows what is in the soul.
“The Righteous One observes the house of the wicked; He throws the wicked down to ruin.” God has established ways for everyone to grow in wisdom and in favor with others. There are systems of discipline among mankind, and if we will take correction to heart, it will be a benefit to us. God has given all of us the ability to learn by observation and testing. We can even study history and philosophy and learn much about the ways of the world in order to avoid patterns of thought and life that are destructive. But if we do not find a solution to the problem of the Lord’s righteous wrath coming against us for our sin, how can we rationally face death with true contentment?
The most important thing that we can do in this troubled world is to hear the news of the death and resurrection of the Son of God and have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. With that secure foundation, we should put off the old man of self-preoccupation and secret scheming, and put on the new man which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of our Creator and Redeemer. We might even give gifts in secret for the pleasure of the Lord rather than having to promote ourselves to others. We could seek justice with the confidence that the Judge of all the earth will make all things right at the perfect time.
In many ways we who believe are just like everyone else. We have the opportunity to study the world that God has made and consider the lessons of times gone by. We use our reasoning and perform acts of kindness as we try to live in peace with our neighbors. But we who know Jesus believe the Word of God and have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in us.
The Holy Spirit that God has given to His people enables us not only to make progress in knowledge but also in speech and action. He grants restraint and modesty by His grace. He brings new diligence and generosity. God grants to us the blessing of true eternal worship, giving His beloved children the privilege even now of offering our bodies to Him as living sacrifices.
All of these blessings are worthy of our most sincere expressions of thanks to God through His Son Jesus Christ. Any victory in character or obedience that we experience belongs to the Lord. Jesus has loved us with an everlasting love and is doing a great work within all those who have called upon His Name.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God, we have a powerful and holy King. He knows the truth of every heart. We have sin in the depths of our being, but Your Son was perfectly pure in the wonder of His holy life. He has sent forth the most abundant mercy to us. In His knowledge is life for our souls. Grant us the integrity of an obedient heart, willing to hear Your Word and follow. Keep us from the foolishness of drunkenness and gluttony. We will never be able to provide for those in need if we eat and drink everything that we earn. Place within us a new and powerful resolve to follow Your counsel, and to love the way of wisdom.